Mill­wall’s Steve Mori­son goes for goal against For­est

The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Andy Ridge

BAR­RIE MCKay was thrilled to get his Not­ting­ham For­est ca­reer off to a fairy­tale start as he fired Mark War­bur­ton’s men to an open­ing day vic­tory over Mill­wall.

The 22-year-old, a £500,000 sign­ing from Rangers in July, chose to rise to the oc­ca­sion in spec­tac­u­lar fash­ion as he made his com­pet­i­tive For­est de­but against Neil Har­ris’s new­lypro­moted Li­ons, ar­row­ing home a stun­ning long-range ef­fort late in the first half to set­tle mat­ters at the City Ground.

Mill­wall huffed and puffed, and passed up a raft of op­por­tu­ni­ties to get them­selves on the score­sheet, but For­est did enough to get their lat­est Cham­pi­onship cam­paign up and run­ning thanks to McKay’s mo­ment of in­spi­ra­tion.

“It was a big three points in the first game of the sea­son and we’re de­lighted to get them,” said the one-time Scot­land in­ter­na­tional.

“I had a few other chances prob­a­bly to come in and hit it and I’ve chose to pass, and luck­ily that time, when I hit the strike, it went in.

“If you look at most of my goals, they do come from long range, so it was ob­vi­ously good to get off the mark with a good goal.

“The main thing is the boys got the three points.

“The keeper, the de­fend­ers, ev­ery­body – we re­ally did de­fend as a team and to get that win, it’s a big boost for the start of the sea­son.”

Mill­wall chief Har­ris was keen to fo­cus on the pos­i­tives borne of his side’s dis­play, even if they failed to come away with any­thing to show for their ef­forts.

“My play­ers ex­e­cuted the game plan per­fectly,” he said. “It was a re­ally strong per­for­mance. We didn’t sit off and let them play – we pressed at the right times. We’ve worked into good po­si­tions and cre­ated good chances. I’ve said to the boys in the dress­ing room, ‘What a top per­for­mance, col­lec­tively and in­di­vid­u­ally’.

“How­ever, be­ing hon­est, I’m dis­ap­pointed be­cause we didn’t get a re­sult. At this level, and cer­tainly the next one up, if you don’t take your chances, you lose the game.

“It’s a good per­for­mance, but we’ve got noth­ing to show for it other than a pat on the back.”

The hosts en­joyed the lion’s share of pos­ses­sion early on but Mill­wall con­tin­u­ally threat­ened in the first pe­riod, with ex­peri- enced front­man Steve Mori­son rat­tling the cross­bar.

Ai­den O’Brien nar­rowly headed over and Lee Gre­gory called For­est keeper Jor­dan Smith into ac­tion, while at the other end, Ben Br­ere­ton al­most gave the home side an un­de­served lead but his strike was de­flected into the side-net­ting.

Then, just four min­utes be­fore the break, McKay came to the fore. The wide­man jinked in­field from the by­line and, with the Mill­wall de­fence stand­ing off, he swung his right boot five yards out­side of the penalty area and let fly with an ef­fort that flashed past goal­keeper Jor­dan Archer at his near post.

The Li­ons’ profli­gacy con­tin­ued in the sec­ond half, with Lee Gre­gory pass­ing up an open goal when he was fed by Mori­son, who in­ter­cepted a Smith pass.

Mori­son also saw a strike ruled out by ref­eree Peter Bankes for a foul com­mit­ted by Gre­gory, and For­est be­gan the sea­son with all three points.

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

BROTH­ERS IN ARMS: Bar­rie McKay cel­e­brates scor­ing Not­ting­ham For­est’s win­ner with his new team-mates

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